Originally created 08/19/04

Raptors sign center Loren Woods

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors signed free agent center Loren Woods on Wednesday.

Woods averaged 3.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 38 games for Miami last season after spending the previous two years in Minnesota.

The 7-foot-1 Woods signed a two-year, $1.7 million contract that is not fully guaranteed. If Woods is released before Jan. 10, the Raptors would owe him earnings up to that date, about $350,000. If he remains on the roster past Jan. 10, the contract is guaranteed for the rest of the season and the following season.

The contract also includes incentives that could push the value to $2 million.

Woods was selected off the Heat roster by the Charlotte Bobcats in the recent expansion draft. Because he was a restricted free agent at the end of the season, Woods was automatically declared an unrestricted free agent July 1 under expansion draft rules.

New Raptors general manager Rob Babcock drafted Woods when he was Minnesota's vice president of player personnel.

"Loren's got a great deal of potential. He's got a long ways to go to live up to that potential, but we think he has a chance to do that here," Babcock said. "He's been very inconsistent for a lot of different reasons, but a lot times big guys take a little longer to mature and develop as players. He certainly hasn't done that yet, otherwise he'd be under contract for six years at big money."

Woods has averaged 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 136 career games. The Raptors desperately needed another frontcourt player to play with Chris Bosh, rookie Rafael Araujo, Donyell Marshall and Jerome Moiso.


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